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Rotten Apple: 10 Things To Know About The Show Before You Go (2016 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL)

by Karen Tortora-Lee on January 30, 2016

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Ten Questions. Ten Answers. And one Big Surprise in the audience …


Rotten Apple

A woman raised by pigeons, an author famous only on NPR, and a devil worshipping cable company all know how to make it in the big city. Do you? Once you do, you may be too damaged to make it anywhere else…

Show  Info:

  • Wed Feb 17, 2016 | 10:30PM
  • Sun Feb 21, 2016 | 6:50PM
  • Fri Feb 26, 2016 | 8:50PM
  • Wed Mar 2, 2016 | 10:30PM
  • Sat Mar 5, 2016 | 2:10PM

UNDER St. Marks New York, NY $8/$12

Answers by Amanda Nicastro
(co-producer, co-writer, co-director)

1. Forget the PR version. When you’re talking to your friends, how do you explain this show to them?
Amanda: It’s like Portlandia, Whitest Kids You Know, and @elbloombito all had a baby together.

2. Here’s a scenario: After the show some audience members go have a drink.  What’s the part of the show you hope they’re discussing?
Amanda: I would like to think they notice that comedy is very reliant on relationships between characters. For instance, in the show we have a 86a06a07-fb3a-42c9-ba14-6e12db21e524scene between Mary, the Pigeon Girl and William, the man she meets in the park while she’s feeding the birds. The scene is funny not just because Pigeon Girl is wearing a fleece covered in pigeon poop, but because we can all relate with her struggle to find love and acceptance in a harsh world. And then maybe fall back on our old habits when we hit a bump in the road. Not everyone personifies pigeons… But you do what helps you cope.

3. What drives your show – character, theme or plot?
Amanda: Theme and character equally I would say. All of the characters interacting with each other are bringing the audience into the shared experience of what’s it like to relocate to a big city and suddenly find yourself faced with a myriad of different problems and situations.

4. In rehearsals, read-thrus, or prior incarnations, what’s the one thing someone said about the show so far that made you (or the team) the most proud?
Amanda: During our first show at The People’s Improv Theater spring 2015 an audience member said they found themselves caring very much about most of the characters. They wanted them to succeed and find whatever it was they were looking for. They said for them, it’s what made our show and our comedic material different from other things they had seen.

5. If money and resources (and even reality) were no object what is the most lavish, luxurious, pointless prop, costume, effect – anything – that you would spend money on for this show?
Amanda: HA! This is hard. We’ve dreamed about having access to the YouTube studio’s subway car. But I wouldn’t actually call that lavish. If I had to guess I would say a realistic set for what Hell would look like. We have a scene involving Satan calling a certain cable company wanting to know why his internet is out, and it would be great to have a realistic lava effect in the background.

6. What’s the one thing you’re looking forward to regarding the FRIGID Festival itself?
Amanda: This one is easy. Meeting other artists. I took my first solo show, I’m Just Kidneying, which is about my decision to be a living kidney donor, to the Orlando Fringe Festival last spring after premiering it in New York during the SoloCom Festival. My husband described the Fringe as “theater camp” for performers. We did our shows, then all grabbed beers afterwards. It was amazing. Best two weeks ever.

7. Is there a scene, a moment, a gesture … anything at all in the show that you anticipate may get a completely different reaction depending on the audience that night?
Amanda: Uh, yes. We have a scene where we put a spotlight on racism and white male privilege. And if people don’t laugh where we think they’re going to laugh we could feel very awkward… But I think you always take a risk when you’re trying to use theater and comedy to raise social awareness. If the risk pays off, great. If it doesn’t, back to the drawing board.

8. What’s your favorite line from the show?
Amanda: “You make me feel the way new babies smell.”

9. What’s the last thing you usually do before the beginning of a show?
Amanda: I always stretch, drink a coffee, and use the bathroom before the show. It’s my ritual. Yeah I know, coffee is not good for you’re vocal chords. But at this point I’m superstitious.

10. You scan the audience and you see a face that stops you dead in your tracks – who is it? And why are you shocked?
Amanda: This one is hard! My family has come before and it’s shocked me just because they live far away. Doesn’t stop me in my tracks though. I have a good relationship with an actor who has seen a lot of success lately. And if he was to come I would be overwhelmed with happiness because I’m in such awe of him.

OOOH!  A secret successful actor!  Well, kudos to you for not being a name-dropper, but I have to say, you’ve got me wondering who you’re one-degree separated from!   And maybe he’s reading this … and he’ll come to the show anyway!  Ha-HAAA.  Wow! That would really make my day.  Knowing my little Q&A question which has always been just for fun actually came to life. Be sure to tell me if it happens, Amanda!

The rest of you – don’t forget to check out Rotten Apple.


Horse Trade Theater Group will present the 10th Annual FRIGID New York Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) February 16-March 6. All shows run 60 minutes, or less. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at  


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